The European Aviation Safety Agency EASA has published new rules and guidelines for drones transporting goods over urban areas. Inspection flights over greater distances from, for example, high-voltage lines and pipelines are also within reach. With the new rules, EASA wants to guarantee the safety of such drone operations and address concerns among citizens.
EASA clears the way for parcel transport by drone
The new rules allow drone operators in the Specific category to perform drone flights over inhabited areas and out of the pilot’s view. Such flights involve a higher risk for the environment. To limit the risks to people on the ground and other airspace users, operators must be able to demonstrate that they follow the correct procedures and use drones that meet strict technical requirements.
The new system of rules makes new applications of drones possible, such as transporting emergency medical supplies and vaccines. All other applications involving flying out of sight of the pilot are also covered by the regulatory framework. Think of inspection flights over greater distances.
As part of the regulatory framework, EASA has prepared a number of new predefined risk analyzes (PDRAs). These are derived from the previously published European standard scenarios for flights over populated areas or flights out of sight (BVLOS), but without the requirement that the drones in question must have a C4 or C5 label.
Another part of the system of rules concerns the introduction of a European certificate of airworthiness for drones. Manufacturers must demonstrate the airworthiness of their aircraft on the basis of a document that describes the requirements that so-called Light UAS must comply with.
“With the publication of these documents, European drone operators can now safely pilot drones in populated areas,” said Patrick Ky, director of EASA. “It is important to address concerns among European citizens and we are delighted that we now have the necessary regulatory framework to enable industry to continue and implement new innovative solutions.”
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(cover photo: Akash 1997, CC-BY-SA)